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(+) How to Make Money Selling Genealogy Information – Part II

19 May 2023 6:39 PM | Anonymous

This is the second installment of a multi-part article. 

First of all, I'll offer a short follow-up to last week's article: I kept using the word "you" in that article. As a newsletter reader pointed out , "you" can be either singular or plural.

You can start this business by yourself, with a partner, with your family, with a local genealogical or historical society, or with any others who share your interest in electronically republishing old books and extracts from records. In fact, e-publishing is an excellent method for genealogy societies to republish old books and records at low cost. The society can provide a valuable service as well as earn a revenue stream that may be difficult to duplicate elsewhere. 

Last week's article focused on the mechanics of scanning old books and other documents, converting them to computer files and (optionally) CD-ROM disks. This week I will describe practical methods of advertising and selling the information. In the next article, I will describe methods of collecting payment. 

When looking for genealogy information, any computer-savvy genealogist will always look on the Internet. That genealogist is a potential buyer. Therefore, sellers of genealogy information always need a web presence. Luckily, this is relatively easy to do and is also quite inexpensive. There are many web hosting services available that will provide a web site for as little as $5.00 a month.

You can already find a number of web sites created by vendors who republish old genealogy books on CD-ROM disks. Of course, CD-ROMs are a technology that is now disappearing. Many desktop computers and almost all laptop computers are now sold without CD-ROM drives. The newer technology is selling digital copies of old books as “ebooks.” That is, digital files. These are typically sold on the World Wide Web with delivery handled online within seconds after the purchaser makes payment for the ebook.

Creating your own online shopping web site will quickly create two major challenges: advertising and payments. Neither problem is insurmountable. In fact, there are interconnected solutions for each. The easiest method of advertising is to find out where your customers are already looking, and then offer your wares in that location.

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